When I was drunk, and in my early years of sobriety, I believed wholeheartedly in ‘the truth’.
Now, I’m not so sure.
The problem with the word ‘truth’ is that there are as many truths as there are people, because truth, to my mind, is a matter of perspective.
I now prefer to deal with fact as opposed to opinion.
Learning how to be a sober person has been one of the most challenging things that I have ever had to do. It has brought me a greater insight into the nature of people and has left me humble. I try to do what I can to be supportive and through that have learned a very chilling fact: People will only really ever do what they want, and will do whatever it takes to convince themselves and others of their rightness; their truth.
When I first joined an online community of people addressing their issues with alcohol, I believed that everyone there wanted to get sober. It was a cause of much heartbreak to find that most, and it seems that most is an accurate statement, are unable to achieve that goal.
I have spent many hours pondering, and researching as to why this may be the case, and as yet I have not found a convincing answer.
The closest I’ve come to a rationale is that many, for whatever reason, aren’t able to do the work: making that life long commitment is just too much.
This month, I read Victor Frankl’s ‘Man’s search for meaning’ and in it, I found a nugget that may begin to answer my question. People have to discover true meaning in their lives in order to find a measure of contentment and the will to go on to be who they were meant to be.
I drank (and I can admit this openly now) because I wanted to die. My life held no meaning. I could not commit suicide in the traditional manner because I had no wish to throw my family into the abyss. Little did I realise that that was what I was doing in my fast descent to alcoholism.
Meaning came to me in a roundabout way: I discovered that my appreciation of the beauty of the world had become secondary to needing to drink. So I stopped. And through that, I have discovered deeper and more sustaining meaning, which I hope will carry me sober to my eventual grave.
I am not a campaigner like some. I do not have the self-confidence to put myself on the line in the way that they do. I do not have the energy to pursue my dreams with unstinting enthusiasm needed to campaign. I prefer to stand quietly in the wings and offer words of support when I can. I have no taste for taking on the world.
I do believe though, that tinkering around the edges of being sober is a very dangerous game to play. Give yourself a reason to drink, and the fact is that you probably will. Give yourself a reason and meaning not to drink, and you probably won’t.
Looking back, I can see the smoke and mirrors that I used in early sobriety was just a screen to shield myself from the ugly fact of what I had become: an alcoholic. And believe me, I used every euphemism in the book to hide from that very real fact. Sure, I had been emotionally hurt, tortured by others in a way that made my life seem unbearable, but I had myself become the torturer of innocents by my insistence that the only way to ease my pain was by administering ever increasing amounts of a daily dose of poison.
So, I urge you to deal with what it is that makes life more comfortable drunk than sober. Forgive yourself, and the people who have caused you such hurt that being wiped out is the only way to deal with your discomforture, and always remember that the rest of your life maybe a long time, and you have choices around how you are going to spend it.
You can be a victim or you can be free.
Is that the truth or merely a fact?
Which path will you choose?
This post is by MrsP. You can find more of MrsP’s writing Here in Boozemusings
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